When I asked a longtime Soldotna resident for recommendations on local restaurants, I was told something that should perhaps come as a warning: “I’d rather eat at home.” Most Soldotna dining comes courtesy of McDonald’s, Subway, Dairy Queen, and Taco Bell, but the town does have a few homegrown options.
Hidden away on a side-street near the Safeway store, Kaladi Bros. Coffee (315 S. Kobuk St., 907/262-5890, www.kaladi.com, $4–10) serves good espresso and features art on the walls as well as occasional live music. Be sure to check out the unique ceiling tiles. There’s a second (less interesting) Kaladi Bros. shop along the highway next to Subway.
Located at the Soldotna Y, Fine Thyme Café at River City Books (907/260-7722, Sun. 11 a.m.–4 p.m., Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–5 p.m.) provides a pleasant escape from the ubiquitous fast-food joints and anglers in hip waders. You’ll find both a fair selection of new books and a café serving sandwiches (around $10), soups, fresh-baked breads, cookies, desserts, and espresso.
Klondike City is a little shopping center that features a bowling alley and Sal’s Klondike Diner (907/262-2220, 24 hours), where you can get typical truck-stop food and big pieces of pie. It’s the place in Soldotna for breakfast, served anytime.
For East Coast–style subs (at Alaska-size prices), stop by Jersey Subs (907/260-3343). It has the best Philly cheesesteak in these parts.
Open for lunch and dinner, Mykel’s Restaurant & Lounge (907/262-4305 or 866/262-9169, www.mykels.com, Sun.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., entrées $22–34) is just up Kenai Spur Highway from the Sterling Highway and features fresh salads, pasta, seafood, rack of lamb, steaks, and fine wines; there is also free Wi-Fi.
For fresh veggies and fruits, head to the Soldotna Farmers’ Market (www.alaskaartguild.com) on Saturdays 10 a.m.–2 p.m. mid-June–mid-September; it’s held at the intersection of Kenai Spur Highway and Corral Avenue.
© Don Pitcher from Moon Alaska, 10th Edition